150+ Smart Side Hustles and Ways to Make Money

150+ Smart Side Hustles and Ways to Make Money

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

This giant list is sorted in order from easiest to hardest. Start at the beginning and make your way down.

Don’t have time to go through all the ways to make more money? Right this second? Pin this to Pinterest so you can come back later!

Get Paid for Doing Online Surveys, Watching Videos, and Searching

If you’re not from the US, I compile a huge list of sites where you can make money online doing surveys right here.

If you’re from the US, check out this list for surveys and passive income apps in the US.

1). Swagbucks ($15 bonus for signing up) – The easiest side hustle on this list. You sign up and complete offers and surveys and you also get paid for using its search engine. Does Google pay you to do that? No. Yet they sell your info to other people. At least now you’ll get paid for it.

You can also play games and watch TV and get paid. It’s the perfect side hustle for when you’re binging Netflix or just sitting on the Subway for your daily commute. You get $5 just for signing up and another $10 when you make your first purchase on a cashback site (Amazon, Walmart, basically any large retailer).

Click here to read the post which explains how you can make hundreds to four figures a year.

2). Inbox Dollars ($5 bonus just for signing up!) – Watch TV and take surveys to make money. Similar to Swagbucks, but has different surveys. It has a $5 bonus for signing up.

3). Fashion and Commercial Surveys (Slice the Pie) –  Love fashion week or dissecting commercials? Slice the Pie has the best surveys for fashion and commercials! Get extra cash for just sharing your opinion.

4). Survey Junkie – Survey site the best UI experience. Online reports of surveys paying up to $50 per survey.

Install An App and Collect $ Automatically

5). Shoptracker ($3 bonus) – ($36/year)  Everyone orders from Amazon, and I’m sure you do too. Shoptracker is interested in Amazon data.

Shoptracker will give you $3 for just signing up and then $3 every month after that. That’s an extra $36 a year for just installing an app! The data is anonymized.

6). Paribus – Get money back when the price drops for an item you’ve bought! Have you ever read the terms and conditions of online retailers? Probably not, since they’re so long. Many online retailers offer a purchase protection program, which will give you back money if the price of an item drops within a certain period of time.

Let’s say you buy a sweater for $50 online and they offer a 30 days price protection program. In 2 weeks, the sweater drops to $25. Most people don’t want to check the website every day in case the price drops. Paribus runs a program that checks for you for free so you just get that cash back.

7). Neilson Computer & Mobile Panel ($120/year) – Similar to Shoptracker, Neilson pays you just for browsing on your computer as you would normally do. All data is anonymized. You can register as many devices as long as there is space in your demographic and geographic location. You’ll need to check the website to see if you’re eligible. Once you register for the Desktop version for $10,000 giveaways, you can earn $50/year per device for tablets and phones.

Super Easy Apps

8). ShopKick (Free 250 kicks) – You install it and get points for just walking into stores and scanning . If you were going into the mall, you could open up your app and walk into many of the large chain stores for a points. It also gives you points for scanning barcodes of items (no need to purchase!). It’s not worth getting points for actual purchases (use eBates for that!), but it’s fun to get paid to just walk into a store or scan a barcode. You get 250 free kicks if you install the app and earn some Kicks by walking into a store or scanning barcodes within 7 days of downloading the app.

Get Extremely Easy Cash Back + Bonus Signup Money!

9). Ibotta (free $10 signup bonus) – Take pictures of your receipts and earn money just from that! You get a free $10 bonus just for signing up. They also have coupons for grocery items and random discounts like 50 percent of Amazon student prime and other big name programs.

Ibotta also gives you $1 off each Uber ride, which is awesome.

10). Ebates (free $10 signup bonus) – The king of free money online. All you have to do is go through the Ebates website whenever you shop online and you’ll get rebates all the way to 10 percent of your purchase price. You also get $10 just for signing up! Double dip with credit card rewards AND cash back.

11). Dosh (free $5 signup bonus) – Dosh offers cashback just by linking your credit card. Double dip by getting credit card rewards AND getting cashback automatically through Dosh. It also offers in-store cash back, which is something you never find in any of the other cash back apps. You just get your app scanned by the cashier.  There’s also a $5 bonus when you link your first credit card with the app.

12). Checkout51 – This app is similar to Ibotta. You can download both and upload your receipts to both apps. Double dip!

Get Paid for Weight Loss

Click here to read a post about how to monetize your exercise.

13). SweatCoin – This app pays you just for walking! You get 1 Sweatcoin per 1,000 steps and you can exchange your coins for prizes in the form of Amazon gift cards or exercise equipment (like FitBits and Garmin exercise equipment!). You can probably make $50 a year if you walk 10,000 steps a day. If you run outside, you’ll make a lot more.

14). Achievemint – Another app that pays you for exercise. They also have some surveys about your health. I’m fine with Achievemint knowing where I walk, but I don’t link any other apps to it in case of privacy reasons. If you walk 10,000 steps a day as recommended by the health community, it’ll take about a year to earn $50 in Paypal. It’s free, so you can just set it on your phone and wait.

15). Healthywage – Get paid up to $10,000 to lose weight in the form of a bet. You set the amount of pounds you think you can lose in a specified amount of time, 6-18 months, and you pay a fixed amount each month until the end of your bet. At the end, if you have lost your weight, you get all your money back plus a large return. If you haven’t lost the amount you promised, you lose all the money you put in. The returns are 20%+, which is an awesome side hustle for just being healthy! If you are going to lose weight, you might as well get paid for it.

I explained HealthyWage here and how you can win up to $10,000.

Get Paid to Drive Your Car (RideShare)

16). Uber – Have a car? Consider driving for Uber. Be strategic and drive Monday mornings (consultants going to the airport) and Thursday through Saturday night. Why? When everyone else is out drinking and partying, you can be the sober one and collect all that surge fare. Plus you’ll save money on not drinking!

Holidays have the craziest surge fares — if you’re in debt or just want to retire earlier, consider taking a few hours during the large holidays to drive people around. Plus they’re likely to tip more due to the holiday spirit.

Drive when there are professional sports games going on, because people are drinking at those events and need to get home at the end. The same applies for large concerts, parades that shut down streets, or when even when the subway is out of whack.

You should drive smart, not more. Drive when the hourly wage is higher due to surge. The above examples should get you there. Think hard about when there is more demand than supply.

17). Lyft ($250 sign up bonus) – If you’re considering Uber, you might as well sign up for Lyft. Plus they’re giving a bonus! I try and talk to every Uber and Lyft driver I get in the car with and they all have both apps open on their phone and usually take the closest ride.

18). uShip – Commercial shipments of goods through personal vehicles. You’ll need to own a truck or other large vehicle. If you’re traveling to another city by car, you can carry some goods along the way so you don’t have to do anything extra.

Get Paid for  Biking/Walking (Exercise!)

19). Ubereats – If you live in a metropolitan city, you can earn money for just biking! Getting paid to exercise? Now, that’s a multi-tasking side hustle! Ubereats also accepts cars, scooters, and walkers in different places. If you’re already driving for Uber or Lyft, or on Postmates, you might as well add an extra app for you to make extra cash delivering things!

20). Spinlister – Have an extra bike lying around that you don’t use a lot? List it on Spinlister so you can get some extra income for it!

21). Instacart – In metropolitan cities, Instacart hires independent contractors who go into grocery stores, buy the food, and then deliver it. Get paid for delivering groceries!

22). Amazon Flex – If you live in a metropolitan city, you’ve possibly heard of Amazon Prime Now, where Amazon delivers items to you in two hours or less. They hire normal people for shifts to deliver your items. The default tip is $5 on the app (I’ve gotten stuff delivered before) and I wonder if most people change the amount.

Get Paid to Run Random Errands

23). TaskRabbit – People can request anything on the app. If you’re ok with assembling IKEA furniture, moving, standing in line, being an assistant, etc. you can earn up a nice sum. There’s also “surge” pricing if someone is looking for something the day of. It’s also really easy to hire someone else to do a task you need.

Get Paid Daily

24). Earnin – iOS version is here and the Android version is here. Earnin allows you to get paid daily instead of biweekly from your employer. If you need money ahead of your biweekly pay schedule, you can use this to get more cash ahead of time. They have a tipping method, but you should realize that tipping even $1 every time is equivalent to 360% interest per year if you use it every day. You don’t have to tip though, you can just leave $0. I’ve contacted them and they said it’s all right to leave $0. So free! Why not get paid daily instead of biweekly?

Sell Unused Items for $

25). eBay – List all your old items that you don’t use. Make sure you understand the cost of shipping. You can ship items 16 ounces or less for 1st class via USPS for $2.54. There are flat rate boxes that go up to ~$10 no matter what region you’re in. eBay lets you set sizes/weight of the item and they estimate shipping costs for you. After a while you can eyeball the sizes/weights and don’t need to measure it every single time. Beware listing high-ticket items on eBay as there are some smart scams on there. If you’re not familiar with the eBay landscape, you should consider listing those high-ticket items in person or selling them to a trusted third-party.

26). Facebook Neighborhood Group – Join your local Facebook group and list your items for sale that are too big to ship and ones that are high-ticket. Always take into account gas and time when you’re selling an item. If it’s a super big item, consider charging a delivery fee. Be safe and agree to meet in a public place with a friend or significant other. Conduct business with someone that is a real person (check their Linkedin, FB, the web).

27). Gazelle – Sell your old electronics to Gazelle for gift cards. If you’re new to eBay, you probably don’t want to go through hoops in case there is a disgruntled customer or someone trying to scam you. Use Gazelle instead.

28). Amazon Trade-In Program –  Have old items that are just laying around but don’t feel like listing them on eBay and selling them yourself? Send it off to Amazon and you’ll get an Amazon gift card for it.

29). Decluttr – You can sell your extra CDs, DVDs, and Video Games on Decluttr. You just scan your barcodes and Decluttr gives you can offer.

30). Cardpool – Still got that old gift card for your birthday? If you’re not going to spend it on that store, sell it for cash. Get some extra savings instead of spending it on something you don’t even want!

They also offer discounts up to 30 percent off of gift cards, so it’s a quick savings if you’re going to spend that money somewhere!

Rent out your house or room!

31). Airbnb – Have an extra room in your house or want to rent out your house when you go on vacation to earn some extra cash? Get your house on Airbnb. It’s an easy process to list your house and you’d be earning some extra cash off of your existing assets. Everyone is booking off of Airbnb now, so you should be side hustling your extra space for extra cash! Sign up here to rent out your extra space for extra cash.

Sign up here if you want to get a free $40 credit off of your first Airbnb stay.

32). HomeStay –  A less known booking site is called HomeStay. It’s basically the same as Airbnb. Think of Uber vs. Lyft being the same thing. HomeStay could be thought of as the Lyft because it’s less well known. Sign up to make extra cash with them here.

If you’re looking to stay at HomeStay, it’s a bit cheaper since it’s not as well known. Click here to book a room with them.

33). VRBO – Similar to HomeStay and Airbnb. Cross-list your apartment or home on VRBO for some extra cash.

Make sure that if you get a booking on one site, you remember to blacklist that date on the other sites so you’re not penalized! It’s worth listing on all of the above because they all basically do the same thing.

Rent out your Car!

34). Turo – Why rent from a rental agency when you can rent from a private person? Think of Airbnb, but for cars! Turo has $1 Million liability policies, so if your car gets crashed or someone is injured while driving it, you’re covered. List your car up for the days you’re not using it.

Rent Out other random stuff

35). Fat Llama – You can rent out anything you have. They have insurance policies for your items.

Increase Your Passive Income

36). Get A Savings Account With A Higher Yield (1.85 percent) – The big banks have tiny interest rates for your savings account. If you’re with Chase, BOA, Wells Fargo, Citi, etc. you’re probably getting 0.1 percent or close.

The current best interest rate on the market is CIT Bank with 1.85 percent interest.

Investing in Stocks/Bonds for Passive Income

37). Vanguard – Vanguard has the cheapest funds. If you are comfortable investing yourself, I advocate for investing in retirement funds or DIY a replication of retirement fund. You’ll need to rebalance your holdings dependent on how the market performs. If you’re ok with potentially selling at a loss occasionally to rebalance and you won’t put it off, you should take this route. You should NOT be reacting to market fluctuations. There have been studies shown that time in the market beats timing the market by a wide margin.

38). Ellevest – Some people want a Robo-advisor to manage their portfolio for them because it’s easy. If you’re starting out and don’t have a lot to invest outside of retirement accounts, you should consider this if you’re not comfortable investing yourself. Most Robo-advisors charge only a .25% management fee. That’s $25/year for every $10,000 you have in the account. I like Ellevest because they ask you about your financial goals in life and recommend accordingly. They also ask if you’re going to have any kids and take that into account for 9 months of saved up leave. They don’t have a minimum so you can get invested with $0.

39). Stash (free $5 Signup bonus) – Stash is a medium-point between Vanguard and Ellevest. It recommends securities and funds, but ultimately you pick what you want to invest in. If this sounds too overwhelming, go with a Robo-advisor like Ellevest.  If you don’t need someone to ask about your preferences, choose Vanguard. It’s worth signing up to take a look though. You can skip the bank account info section and still play around with the app.

Robinhood – Sign up through a friends referral link (I don’t have one, go to another blogger’s referral link) and you can get a free share of stock. Robinhood has free trades, so if you’re considering dabbling in the stock market for fun, this is the best app.

**Check with your compliance department for the list of brokers you are allowed to invest with. Some companies only allow specific brokers.

Get paid to take care of dogs, kids, or the elderly!

40). Rover – If you’re ok with having dogs stay with you for a nightly salary, you should take this on!

If you already have a dog, this is an awesome option, as taking care of two dogs is not that much harder than one.

In NYC, nightly stays like this run anywhere from $30-$50. Not bad for taking in a dog for a few nights! Simply apply with this link and you’ll be on your way to getting paid to hang with some nice furry friends!

41). Wag – Love dogs? You can get paid to walk them. Half hour sessions are $12 and full hour sessions are $18. You get tips too :D. Not bad for exercise and just walking a dog!

42). Sittercity – You can sign up as a babysitter on this site. They do background checks and aggregate your free time to babysit, location, and then match you with people looking for babysitters. If you’re a parent, you sign up for a monthly or yearly membership to get access to sitters and can filter them by reviews.

43). Care – It does a similar thing to Sittercity. Looking online you should consider signing up for both because people seem to be mixed on whether Sittercity or Care is better.

Freelance Work

44). Fiverr – If you have special skills, you can get gigs on Fiverr for $5 and up. The $5 tasks are super easy ones you can complete in much less than an hour, and for more specialized tasks, you can charge more. Consider charging less at first until you build up 5-10 reviews so you can compete with everyone else. If you need something specialized done here, consider using Fiverr. I’ve gotten some design work done for a logo for some of my other side hustles and it’s always been a great experience.

45). Freelance Writing – Do you love to write and want to get paid for it? Another blogger wrote up a ton of post with a ton of writing gigs. I think it’s easier to get writing gigs if you already have a book of work, aka your blog, but if you have writing samples, you can email them and ask to write for them for money.

Going Green!

46). Recycling – In NYC, there are a ton of people emptying out trash cans and collecting cans and bottles everyday. Can, bottles, etc pay 5 cents here. While I’m not advocating sifting through garbage, if you live in a neighborhood with lots of houses or apartments, look to see if you can walk by apartments a few nights a month to pick up some extra containers for some money. Check with your local city/state to see if they do a similar program.

The smartest thing to do would be to set up recycle bins OUTSIDE of your apartment or house where people can drop off cans and other items. You can take them to the recycling center for some extra cash for minimal effort.

47). Selling Scrap Metal – You can sell lots of different metals to scrap yards. People give away things on Craigslist and in general. If you know the cost of scrap metal, look at the historical cost of the metal and buy accordingly. Even better if you can just get it for free on Craigslist, as people give it away because they don’t want to spend time trying to move it.mystery

48). Selling your junk mail – Ever get super annoyed with all the junk mail you get? Well, now you can sell it to a company who analyzes junk mail! They accept both physical mail and email junk mail. How cool!

Referral Programs

49). Refer an friend to your employee – Most professional jobs have an employee referral program. They still have to get through interviews and the hiring process, but companies will pay you thousands of dollars if you can refer them great talent. It’s how headhunters make their money. Though headhunters will make 6-12 months salary for referring someone, while you might just receive a few grand. Still, not a bad side hustle!

50). Real Estate Agent Client referrals -If you don’t want to become a real estate agent, but know people who are good at finding investment properties or real estate agents in other cities, you should consider becoming a real estate agent so you can refer clients to other people. You get 25 percent of the commission if you do.

Online Jury Duty 

51). eJury – Get paid for your opinion on cases! You need to have qualities that could actually put you on a jury. You cannot be a lawyer, associated with a law firm, or employed as an insurance adjuster, etc.

Real Estate Side Hustles

52). House Hacking – Buy a multi-unit house and rent out the other portions so that it covers your rent or makes it positive cash flow! While this can’t really be done in HCOL places like NYC/SF/etc, if you live in a more “normal” real estate environment, this should be something you consider.

53). Investing in rental properties – Real estate has some great tax qualities due to its interest deductible, depreciation, and 1031 exchanges (deferral of capital gains). If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio and not have it all in index funds, you might want to think about investing in rental properties. You need to think about whether you want to hire a property manager or be on hand to fix things and respond to tenant requests. Always be conservative and safe.

54). FundRise – If you don’t want to own physical property because you think it might be a hassle or you don’t have enough for a rental down payment, you can always invest in crowdfunded real estate online. Check out Fundrise, where you only need a minimum of $500 to invest. From 2014 to 2017, the portfolios have returned 8.75 percent to 12.42 percent.

55). Fixing Up Old Houses – Look into foreclosure, short sale, or dilapidated property and fix up the house with your DIY skills and gain some sweat equity. As an added bonus, if you live in the house for 2 of the last 5 years, you’ll get some very sweet tax benefits. If you’re really enterprising, you can move into fixer-upper houses every two years and snowball your assets without paying taxes on it ($250k/$500k exclusion in profits for single/married couples). Please remember to take into account closing costs, real estate commissions, and other associated costs with selling the house.

56). Real Estate Agent – In most places, the time to take a real estate test is around 100 hours. If you’re personable and love showing houses, you can take up real estate agent as a side hustle. Most people are looking at places to live on the weekends and at night due to their regular work schedule anyway.

Fun Physical Assets

57). Vending Machines – Buy a vending machine, which starts at $3,000 new. Try and look around to see if there are any used machines that look new. Ask for a guarantee in performance so that you don’t have to worry about parts for a specified period of time. It’s all about putting a vending machine in the right location — office space, outside of commercial buildings, etc. Your ROI on a bag of chips or drinks is close to 300-400 percent. Once a week, someone can stock the vending machine, so it can become a form of passive income. Offer to cut the location in on the profits if they won’t let you put the vending machine there. Negotiate.

58). Pinball Machine/Arcade Games – Same procedure as the above, but find a good location for it. Maybe there is a local bar or restaurant you can talk into putting one of these machines in.

Flipping Items

59). Amazon FBA – You can walk into retailers and purchase items for less than the net price that Amazon lists for. You can also try buying items that you think are going to be popular. Examples in past years include the Nintendo Switch and Hatchimals. Stepping up the game is getting a wholesale license, buying pallets of items, and then doing wholesale arbitrage.

60). Private Label – This consists of finding items off of Alibaba, putting a fancy label on it, and then running PPC campaigns and other marketing tactics to get your item ranked to the top of an Amazon search. You should start with test batches mailed via air, then move to buying pallets shipped by container (you can share a container with many other people).

61). Flipping Craigslist Freebies & For Sale Section – In Craigslist there is a FREE SECTION. FREE. Watch the Craiglist feed and look for items that are worth actual money. You can resell them either in person or online.

62). Estate Sales – Be extremely kind and polite at estate sales! They frequently have deals, so you should take a look. Always pull up your phone so you can do comps to make sure you can sell the items.

63). Consignment Store Finds – Stores frequently misprice things due to the volume they go through. You’ll get more bang for your buck by flipping luxury items, but if you’re new to eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, etc, you should start with lower priced items so you know the process and don’t get ripped off.

64). Luxury second-hand shops – Even in Japan, I found 2 items from 2 luxury consignment stores that made me a few hundred bucks when I sold them back home. Things are mis-priced anywhere you go. Also, certain Goodwill stores sell things by the pound. If you can find something good and have the free time to list it online, you can make a lot.

65). Flipping Items From Yard Sales – People trying to get rid of their junk do not do their homework often. Vintage items sell for a lot and people will misprice books, clothing, etc. super cheap just to get rid of it. You can also negotiate at yard sales.

66). Reselling for a cut – Go around to friends who need items sold. Ask if you can take a cut of everything sold. Most people don’t have free time and if you offer to take charge of the items for 30-40 percent, you can each cash without taking any risk. Apparently Kim K. did this for fun, but she had huge profits due to her friends trying to sell luxury items. You can say a lot of things about her, but she’s great at monetizing her life.

67). Liquidation – Have you ever wondered where all the items from retail stores go after the season is over or where all the returns go? There’s an entire liquidation industry where items sell for pennies on the dollar in bulk. The bigger volume you buy, the cheaper the items. You can re-list the items on eBay, sell the new items via FBA, or sort luxury clothing into piles for consignment stores. I’d recommend paying the extra 3% fee via Paypal instead of the industry standard cash, as there are a number of seedy liquidation companies.

Video

68). YouTube – If you’re willing to post instructional, funny, daily vlogs, etc videos, you should consider Youtube. It’s getting harder to monetize videos and they recently raised the partner program rules for acceptance. You now need a total watch time of 4,000 hours in the past 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers. If you’re really creative, you should consider this one. If you aren’t, I’d really consider something else.

Golf

69). Collecting Balls – If you live near a golf course, you can dredge up balls from the lake or find lost ones in other places. You can then sell them to other golfers or the clubhouse.

70). Golf Caddy – If you play golf, consider caddying for players. The better the club you’re caddying for, the bigger the tips. Make sure your charm is turned on and do a great job so that you can get referrals. Know your clubs, putters, and the lay of the course so that you can be an effective caddy. The customer is always right, in this case the person you’re caddying for.

Shoeshine

71). Shoeshine – At my work, there used to be a shoeshine guy who walked across the office floor once a week. People would pay him $5 to shine their shoes. His shoeshiner costs were extremely low. A rag, black or brown shoeshine, and something to sit on are all you need. It doesn’t take very long to shine shoes and he probably made more than $35/hr. I used to bring my boots and other flats so he could resole him. He took them somewhere and would charge $10-$15 to shine boots + resole. Not bad for how much it actually costs to do the job. The downside is you need to be able to do this during business hours — it might work best if you full-time job is in the nighttime, or you’re a student.

Performing

72). Street/Public Performer – In NYC, there are constantly people dancing, singing, playing instruments/etc on the subway and in Times Square. I’m sure there are public areas in your city too where this goes on. If you’re really talented, you can make a mint performing in public. It doesn’t even require you to get booked! You just need to get out there and start performing. Maybe you’ll get scouted if you’re really amazing. Post it on Youtube and Facebook, people love this kind of stuff.

73). Live-in Super – Consider becoming a superintendant for your apartment building. In exchange for free or reduced rent, you’ll be on call in case there is an issue with a tenant’s apartment.

74). Magician – Learn some magic and perform at kids’ birthday parties or other celebrations. Look for your first clients in Facebook groups or through your contacts. Charge a low hourly at first and increase your price as you get more business. Once word of mouth spreads, you’ll get more clients.

75). Balloon art – Learn how to make balloon art and market yourself to companies, celebrations, etc. Post in neighborhood Facebook groups and ask if you can leave flyers around neighborhood haunts.

76). Face Painting – They frequently have these for children at celebrations. Learn how to face paint animals on faces and offer up your services.

Food & Beverage

Always try to get a jobs where high-end clients are dining as the tips will be better. Consider highly-rated restaurants, country clubs, etc.

77). Valet – Moonlight as a valet when you’re done with your day job. Driving cars back and forth doesn’t seem half bad. Plus you get tipped. Try and get a side job at a fancy place so that you can get bigger tips.

78).Bartending – Is it any wonder this is on the list as people seem to throw a dollar bill or two for every drink they get? This is also a pretty cool skill to have when you’re hosting an event.

79).High-end Restaurants – Due to the tipping society we are in, the higher-end restaurants are more lucrative for side hustles.

80). Focus Groups – You sit around answering questions, along with debating and analyzing a specific product or service. At the end you get paid pretty nicely for your time. They are a bit more targeted than online or phone surveys. Some of them pay $100/hr or higher, but you need to qualify. When I did it, I spent quite a bit of time applying for focus groups to not get them – you won’t get to participate in every single one.

81). Mystery Shopping – There’s mystery shopping in every industry. Hotels, banks, restaurants, retail, etc. Most of them consist of you commenting on how a company’s service is, but a few ask you to purchase items ahead of time and reimburse you. So free food, hotel rooms, clothing items, etc. You’ll need to have good attention to detail and the ability to write a narrative void of spelling and grammatical errors.

Set a target for an hourly wage you’d like to make and stick to it. I always targeted ones that were $50/hr or more, but they don’t come up super often. Most things were probably in the range of $10-$20/hr. I’ll be writing up a giant list of all the mystery shopping companies I’ve tried (well over 75) soon. Sign up below to get updates to the blog so you’ll know when it comes out.

Easy Tasks

82). Amazon Mechanical Turk  – This site is full of small tasks that requesters put up. You could be solving captchas for a few cents each or leaving comments on blog posts. Everything is super random and made up of tiny tasks. I think doing surveys is better but maybe you’ll have better luck with it than I did.

83). Car Wrapping – If you’re a person who doesn’t care what other people think, you can get your car wrapped in a large advertisement. For a few hundred dollars a month, your car can be a walking billboard.

Reducing Expenses

84). Possibly one of the easiest ways to make money and create a “side gig” is by reducing your expenses. A few phone calls and chats to online customer reps will return a great hourly rate if you can switch products and save money. The first few days of my free financial independence course go over how to slash expenses while not reducing quality of life.

Digital Real Estate

85). Flipping Digital Real Estate – Once you understand blogging, dropshipping, affiliate marketing, advertising RPM and other components of online businesses, you can spot websites that are selling for under their potential. Websites sell for a multiple of their current profit, anywhere from 6-36 months depending on what niche. Do comps based on industry, potential, niche, etc.

This is a highly risky venture if you don’t understand the industry you’re in, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not absolutely familiar and have already made money in the mentioned industry.

86). Flippa – Sells Amazon FBA businesses, websites, and apps. The names of the website and apps are mostly public so you can look them up and do your own due diligence. There are screenshots of earnings, expenses, etc and you can also ask the owner for more information. Some people just try and flip domain names that are trending or could possibly become famous. The biggest issue is that it isn’t very hard to fake revenue or a screenshot so you’ll really have to trust the seller. Check their reviews of past sites they’ve sold.

87). Empire Flippers – Has a higher concentration of dropshipping sites than Flippa. Empire Flippers vets each website and also has a podcast, which is pretty interesting to listen to. You’ll need to put down a refundable deposit of 5 percent of the selling value in order to see the actual website link and more information. Websites have higher quality on Empire Flippers, IMO.

One of the reasons I started a blog was to see how digital real estate works. Once I’ve learned a bunch about the blogging industry, I’d like to invest in digital real estate that I believe is undervalued and revamp it.

88). App Creation – If you know how to code and have a great idea for an app, you can code one in your spare time. Almost all apps fail, but even if it does, you’ll have something in your portfolio to show other people who might hire you to create their app. It’s also a great thing to have on your resume for programming jobs.

89). Paid to Tweet – If you have a large following on Twitter, you can get paid to tweet about different brands and products. Depending on how large your following is, you’ll get paid more exponentially.

90). Instagram Influencer – If you have a large Instagram following, brands will reach out to give you free products and you can charge a per post fee. You can buy and sell Instagram accounts as well to run them.

Graphic Design

91). Merch by Amazon – If you know how to do great graphic design, you should try out Merch by Amazon. You design the T-Shirt and then Amazon prints it on demand, and then ships it out for you. All you have to do is make a design. You’ll need to request an invitation and wait for the acceptance. It’s been months and I still haven’t been accepted, so I guess it’ll be a happy surprise when I do.

92). Teespring – This company does the same thing as Merch by Amazon, but you don’t need to request an invitation – you’re just automatically invited. Amazon’s search power is greater though because people are buying more things off of it, so you can list your designs in both places once you’re accepted to Merch.

93). Etsy – You can create printables, inspiring quote art pieces, etc. and then sell the digital download on Etsy. You can also sell homemade crafts on there as well.

Artistic Skills

94). Makeup Artist – Offer up services to put makeup on. Do it for free on a few friends and post before and after pictures so they can see your skills.

95). Hair Stylist – Same as the makeup artist, but with hair. Though it may seem easy to you, styling hair hard for most people and they don’t want to learn right before a big event.

96). Musical Artist – You can perform in a band in restaurants or clubs. There are restaurants I know which have pianists every night, and places that have live music every Thursday. There are jazz bands, Offer to perform for them, potentially for free so they can give you a referral or decide to hire you full-time.

97). Singer – Same thing as with musical artists, but you’re looking for a solo performance.

98). Calligrapher – If you’re artistically talented, consider picking up a few books, quills, and ink bottles and mastering the art of calligraphy. People want customized placecards, writing on black chalkboards for events, calligraphy letters sent for weddings and special celebrations, etc. They’re also willing to pay high hourlies for this kind of talent. Each Whole Foods I’ve ever been to has had fancy calligraphy and blackboard art. Most coffee shops in NYC have calligraphy art too.

99). Teaching Music – Do you excel at a certain instrument? Post flyers and on tutoring websites like Wyzant and connect with students.

100). Videographer – Do you already have an expensive camera rig, know how to shoot video and edit it? You can hire yourself out to weddings, special celebrations, real estate agents (filming expensive houses), etc. Bonus points if you can create high quality video with a drone because those are the types of luxury videos people are willing to pay more for.

101). Photographer – In NYC, wedding photography frequently runs in the thousands just for a single day. Maybe your area is not as exhorbitant as mine, but photographers get paid quite a bit for special celebrations. Offer to shoot a few friends’ engagements, weddings, special celebrations, or even just a beautiful couple or person’s photos. Once you set up a website and showcase your talent with those photos (consider a watermark) you can offer your services to others.

102). Piano Tuner – Are you familiar with the innards of a piano? You can buy an electric piano tuner and work on tuning pianos. There’s a ton of keys, but the hourly freelance rate for this is pretty awesome.

103). Alterations – Do you know how to sew, hem, and take in clothing? You should become an alterations specialist. I usually take my clothes in to Chinatown to get alterations done, but if there were a closer friend or person who did this I’d be willing to take it to them instead. Create some business cards, flyers, and a landing page and use your sewing skills to make some extra cash.

Social Media Expert

104). Expert Pinterst VA – If you can show traffic proof that you’ve mastered Pinterest on your own blog, then you can try reaching out to other bloggers to see if they need help with Pinterest. Look around for what other people are charging and their results and structure your price list accordingly.

105). Expert FaceBook Ads VA – Master FB ads and reach out to local and internet businesses to manage their FB account. If you know what you’re doing you can subsidize the cost of traffic. Always know your CPA, CPM, and margin of the product to the business side. Prove that you can create arbitrage for your client by driving traffic at a lower cost than their profit and they’ll come back again and again.

106). SEO Expert – Read the Art of SEO, follow the blogs that talk about SEO, and gain organic traffic to your own site. Once you can show you know what you’re doing by proving how much traffic you get via organic search referrals, you can charge for SEO consulting. You can throw up a few posts where you give free basic advice away and then charge for more advanced and tailored advice.

Free Money!

107). Unclaimed money – You can search government databases to find out if there is any unclaimed money in your name. What could be more fun?

Neighborhood Services

108). Pool Cleaning – Richer and spendier people are more likely to own pools. These people are busier and don’t like DIY as much so you can offer to come over and clean leaves and debris from the pool.

109). Raking Leaves – People don’t like to rake leaves. All you need to buy for this side hustle is a giant rake.

110). Snow Removal – This requires you to get up early because people want their driveway cleared by the time they get up. People hate getting up early, especially in the cold, and all you need is a giant snow shovel. If you live somewhere especially snowy, this can be pretty lucrative.

111). Moving the Lawn – Walk over to your neighbors houses and ask if you can mow their lawn. You’ll need a lawn mower and gas. Agree on a recurring deal.

112). Powerwashing – You’ll need a powerwashing machine for this one. Walk around your neighborhood and look for the dirtiest concrete or wooden floors. Tell the neighbors how good it will look if they let you clean it up. Demonstrate by powerwashing a tiny patch. If you’re ever bored r/powerwashingporn is a subreddit with clean ground. Not much work, but someone will likely pay you to do it.

113). Cleaning the Gutters – I hope you’re not afraid of heights! Many people are and wouldn’t do this job so here’s your opportunity.

114). Detailing/Washing Cars – You’ll need some soap, detailing cloth, etc. to start this but same as all the above, as your neighbors if they’d like the service. You’ll probably be cheaper than a detailing place with overhead (rent, more employees, etc).

115). Carpet Cleaning – Have you ever seen those videos with high-powered carpet steamers that make carpet so clean? It’s amazing the kind of dirt that seeps into carpet. Bring over your vacuum and show the homeowner how dirty their carpet is by cleaning a small patch. They’ll want to clean the entire house once they realize how disgusting it is.

You can start a little agency that offers all of these services for your neighborhood. People like neighbors and trust them more than companies. Be friendly, courteous, and nice to your neighbors. Go with some cookies or baked goods when asking for an extra touch. Make them a homemade Christmas card every year and consider coming over with cookies or some baked goods once every quarter if you perform services for them. Most people are not looking for the cheapest option on every single thing, they want someone they can trust.

116). Newspaper Delivery  – In college, every morning the WSJ would land in front of each door who ordered it. When I moved to the city, it was always amazing to see the same thing for other papers. If you’re willing to get up early and deliver papers, this job is for you. Contact your local paper companies and see if they have any openings. Repeat for national papers that you know someone is delivering in your area.

Fun Side Gigs

117). Sports Referee – From a baseball ump to a soccer referee, you could have a lot of side gigs related to referring sports. If you love sports and kids, this is perfect, because you get to watch sports and kids play at the same time!

118). Notary – You’ll need to pay for the notary certification (government regulation). You should Google “Notary requirements” + your city/state because they’re different in whatever location you’re in. You can set up a website to offer your notary services 24/7. If someone needs to get something notarized at 11PM at night (lawyers, bankers, etc), they’ll pay through the nose for it.

119). DJ – Have a turntable and know how to get people dancing by mixing some tunes? Get your hustle on and start canvassing places that might pay you for your skills. Go to bars, restaurants, clubs, college fraternities/sororities, etc. Post in your local Facebook group to see if anyone is having a special celebration.

120). Voiceover Artist – I’m not sure why voiceover artists make so much money, but that’s great news for you! If you have an amazing voice to listen to, consider doing some auditions!

121). Background Actor/Extra – Getting paid while being in the background of a set sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe you’ll meet someone famous (be calm, be calm!).

Fun Apps

122). Pay Your Selfie – An interesting app that pays you for specific selfies. Not sure what they do with the pictures. It’s $20 to cash out but it might take you a while to get there since selfies range from $.1 to $1 in pay. If you find this fun, go ahead, but just doing surveys might be better for the small tasks.

Difficult Side Hustles

123). Bounty Hunter – You find people who the government are looking for. It’s probably a dangerous side hustle.

124). Insurance Recovery Agent – These people track down stolen goods and are rewarded a commission from the insurance company. It’s cheaper for the insurance company to pay a commission than to payout the entire policy.

125). Private Detective – If you’re good at spying, stalking, and piecing together information, you should consider this one. They frequently command high hourlies, but you need to pass a test to become a PI.

Body Side Hustles

126). OpenBiome – In Boston, there’s a center that pays $40 per stool donation. You have to commit to going 3 times a week for 60 days. That’s $480 a month, or $120 a week, just for doing something you do already! Great for college students or people who work close to the centers.

Best of all, no side effects and you’re helping someone else. Your stool is used for a procedure called FMT, which cures people of C. Diff infections. The center, OpenBiome, is a non-profit as well, so you don’t have to worry about big Pharma guilt.

127). Plasma Donation Centers – While you aren’t legally allowed to be paid for blood, you’re allowed to be paid to donate plasma. If you go twice a week, you can make up to $400 per month at private plasma centers. The side effects for donating plasma are similar to those when you donate blood: dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, etc. If plasma  donation doesn’t affect you physically, you can just study or read a book when you’re there. Be productive!

128). Sperm Banks – You can earn $100+ per trip to the sperm bank, and some banks pays $1,500 a month! Current laws say the recipient can’t come forward for child support for some states and not for others, but I’m not sure of what the future holds. You need to be ok with potential little ones walking around and beware of future lawsuits for child support. It depends on your risk tolerance. Try Googling “sperm bank” + your city to find one in your area.

129). Psych Studies -On many college campuses, there are psych studies which can earn you up to $40+/hr. Back in my college days I would sign up for a few if I was attending class near the building hosting studies. They ranged from boring things like clicking when the color of a word matches the color and testing my ability to ignore cake. They were pretty fun. Google “psych studies” and your location to find out about ones near you.

130). Clinical Trials – There are studies for new drugs and sleep studies which are pretty lucrative. Getting paid to sleep doesn’t sound half bad, with getting paid $60+/hr for MRI studies and even more for the sleep studies. There are ones with drugs actually being tested on you that pay a few thousand dollars, but with the unknown side effects, you’ll have to decide if you want to risk that (I wouldn’t!). You can check out the government website or simply Googling “clinical trials” + your area.

131). Egg donation – You can get paid $10,000 for eggs normally. The process can take 8-10 weeks with two injections daily for several weeks. Once your eggs are ready, doctors harvest 20-30 eggs at a time. There are certain minorities who are paid more (Asian, Jewish) because those races have less egg donors, and their parents want a baby of the same race. Same goes for women with graduate or Ivy degrees. An article even came up with women getting paid $100,000 for eggs. The centers also offer free egg freezing (which normally costs $10,000, with yearly storage fees covered), so you can have extra eggs in case something goes wrong, either during the donation cycle or in the future. That being said, you don’t know what will happen with child support and a mini-me of you might be walking around. You need to be ok with that.

132). Surrogacy – You can help a mother carry a child to term. Some women have issues with their uterus or are older and more suspectible to things going wrong with their baby if they were to carry a child to term. You’d be helping out a family and getting paid. They pay up to $40,000.

133). Selling BreastMilk – Some women cannot produce breastmilk, or are on medication that would transfer to the child and be harmful. If you can and are willing to sell your breastmilk, people will pay up to $2.5 per ounce. Considering a glass of milk is around 16 ounces, that’s $40 a glass of milk. Pretty lucrative and you get to help other women’s children!

Fitness Industry

134). Personal Training – Is your body in incredible shape? Do you like to go to the gym? Can you teach other people how to exercise correctly, eat right, and motivate them into being the best version of themselves physically? If yes, you could become a personal trainer. Offer a first session guarantee if they don’t like it if you’re starting out. It makes people trust you and over time you can get clients by word of mouth.

135). Group Fitness Instructor – Gyms need instructors for Spin, HIIT, Zumba, Yoga, Barre, Pilates, etc. and luxury complexes are adding gym classes to make their amenities more enticing for new residents. Make sure you know which new buildings are going up so you can be first in line to offer your services.

Online Businesses

136). Podcasting – Create your own podcast in a specific niche and sell advertisements and sponsorships once youbl gain a large following.

137). Blogging – I’m guessing 90 percent of people fail at this because they’re not willing to spend the time to figure it out. It’s like starting a very low-cost startup but where you have to wear all the hats. Design, writing, marketing, etc. – starting a blog teaches you a lot of skills. I don’t have a link nor do I have course, so google “free blogging courses” if you’re really interested. Be warned though, you’re likely going to waste that money unless you commit to it for at least a few years.

Skills-Based Help

138). Resume Writer – Are you outraged at those who have resumes longer than 1 page? Do you mutter “why are there no quantitative points on this resume”? Know how to make someone shine on a piece of paper? Consider becoming a resume writer. If you can get people a great job that pays more, why wouldn’t they pay you for your services?

139). Tutor – Are you an expert in a subject? Consider tutoring online and in person with Wyzant.

140). College Admissions Consultant – Did you get into a great college and understand the process? You can charge for your expertise and help other people navigate the process.

141). Financial Coaching – If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely interested in finance. If you’re an expert, you can charge others for financial consulting. It’d be cheaper than AUM fees and you’d be helping someone else get their finances in order.

142). Organizational Expert – Do you find you’re amazing at labeling clear boxes and sorting items so that a room is neater? Well, there’s plenty of people who aren’t good at those things or who don’t want to do them. The next time you see a messy closet or room, ask if you can help organize it for a small bit of extra cash. Get a great review and take before and after pictures. Set up a quick website to showcase your work.

Increase Your Actual Wage At Work

143). Increase your salary/wage by getting a raise – Figure out what the schedule of raises is at work. Start making your case about 2 months before you’ll find out if you will get a raise as your manager will likely have to make the case to give you a raise to their manager. If you’re underpaid, find data on Glassdoor and present it neatly. If you’re getting paid the same as your co-workers but doing so much more, quantify your actions on paper and ask for a private meeting with your boss.

144). Find another job – A lot of salary raises are given through finding another job. If you’re considering getting an acceptance to another job and then asking your employer to match it, beware that it causes distrust. You’ve poisoned the well. If the interviewer asks your current salary, you can simply state that you believe you deserve $X/year due to specific reasons — ie. salary comps from Glassdoor, your extremely specialized skill, etc. In most states (if not all) it’s actually illegal to ask for your salary.

145). Get a bigger bonus – Bonuses are usually given once a year, so apply the same tactic as when trying to increasing your salary/wage. Try not to take any vacation during this time so you’re remembered and don’t mess up during this time because the most recent memories of you can erase the good that you’ve done throughout the year. Try not to blow up your pnl/projects at the end of the year – save it for next year so you can lock in your bonus. Never leave before a bonus has posted to your account and make sure you are up to date on whether there is a clawback and know when your shares/401k will be vested.

146). Negotiate better benefits – If you’re in a professional setting, an invaluable employee, and the company culture is flexible, you can ask for better benefits. They include things like working from home a couple of weeks a month, cell phone/wifi/car allowances, etc. This works better with tech or recently founded companies.

147). Calculate the benefits before taking a job – Sure, the salary might be lower or higher, but have you taken into account the 401k match, whether the company allows mega backdoor Roth’s, the cost of health insurance (whether you have an HSA, FSA, or neither), free meals, transportation benefits, maternity/paternity benefits (for example, Netflix offers 2 years of maternity/paternity leave, most professional companies offer 3 months to women and 2 weeks at least to men), etc. Also consider the untold benefits of each company: brand name, future advancement, etc.

Side Gigs for the Tech Savvy

148). Bug Bounty Programs – Large tech companies offer bug bounty programs where if you discover a bug they’ll pay you cold, hard, cash. Security bugs pay the most.

149). Crypto Mining – Before we delve into ASICs and GPUs, you should know that this is extremely risky. So many people told me crypto mining was an insane return and I simply replied,”That’s only if the current market price stays where it’s at right?”.  A lot of those people are now sitting underwater due to the largest market cap cryptos crashing in the past few months.

150). Masternode Ownership – In crypto, there are masternodes you can own that produce a return, almost like a dividend. Some are structured to produce returns if you own a minimum number of units and others allow you to pool. If you have money you can burn and are willing to spend a lot of time researching, you can look into it. I won’t link the website that tracks the ROI of masternodes.

Side Gigs for the Car Savvy

151). Modding Cars – If you know how to install fancy rims and other mods, consider hiring yourself out to other car enthusiasts.

152). Car Mechanic – Tell your friends you’ll charge lower rates than the autoshop and help fix their car’s whenever they have issues. It’ll be a win-win for both of you.

Have any other side hustles? Write them below!

Author: Olivia

Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.

The average savings account rate is 0.1%. The big banks have incredibly low savings accounts rates. CIT Bank offers a 1.75% savings account. You can open an account with just $100 and no monthly fees or charge . Tired of being charged fees and getting peanuts in interest at your current bank? Open a CIT Bank savings account in less than 15 minutes online.

If you have a car, Rideshare apps allow you to pick a direction you want to go twice a day, so you can get extra money going somewhere you were driving to anyway at least twice a day. Get a $300 sign-up bonus with Lyft.

One of my favorite ways ways of monetizing my life is via credit card bonuses with cards that give you cashback or rewards. Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire cards, which give you at least $500 in cash or $625 in travel credit.

15 thoughts on “150+ Smart Side Hustles and Ways to Make Money

  1. Olivia, I’ve read your article and I really found new interesting ways for an additional income. Thanks for including links as well.
    The funny thing is that you are one of the first financial bloggers who mentioned the crypto and the mining, as well as master nodes.
    Did you try it, because it seems that you have plenty of experience in this area?

    1. Of course:).

      Haha, I dabble in crypto with a small part of my portfolio. I don’t recommend it for anyone unless you’re willing to have your crypto portfolio go to 0. I haven’t mined but a few coins do have masternode capabilities. Obviously the ones producing absurd “dividend” like returns are probably going to be 0 really damn soon.

  2. Thanks for the suggestions Olivia! I just signed on with Sweatcoin and Achievement. They look like a simple way to earn a little while doing stuff I already do. I use My Fitness Pal and Samsung Health daily anyway and they easily linked with the Achievement app. Love this!

  3. Olivia, thank you so much for doing the “footwork” for us and compiling such an exhaustive list. I actually paused reading when it came to “Unclaimed Money” I went to the website and found out we were owed $75.00! Thank you so much! I made $75.00 with just a few keystrokes and hadn’t even finished your article. Can’t wait to dig deeper into these and show my husband things he can do as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author: Olivia

Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.

The average savings account rate is 0.1%. The big banks have incredibly low savings accounts rates. CIT Bank offers a 1.75% savings account. You can open an account with just $100 and no monthly fees or charge . Tired of being charged fees and getting peanuts in interest at your current bank? Open a CIT Bank savings account in less than 15 minutes online.

If you have a car, Rideshare apps allow you to pick a direction you want to go twice a day, so you can get extra money going somewhere you were driving to anyway at least twice a day. Get a $300 sign-up bonus with Lyft.

One of my favorite ways ways of monetizing my life is via credit card bonuses with cards that give you cashback or rewards. Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire cards, which give you at least $500 in cash or $625 in travel credit.